On 12 August 2023, the Pallottine Missionary Sisters in Germany gathered in Limburg to celebrate the 65th and 60th anniversaries of profession with four of their fellow Sisters. These Sisters had professed their vows for the first time in 1958 and 1963 on the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. They were Sr. Georgis Lachnit and Sr. Theresa Merkel (65 years), and Sr. Goretta Groth and Sr. Christina Schubert (60 years). At the beginning of the celebration, Provincial Superior Sr. Astrid Meinert gave a brief overview of the lives of the jubilarians. She emphasised that they had remained faithful and that their first YES had been a life decision that had borne fruit.
Three Pallottine Fathers, Fr. Ekkhard Kücking as main celebrant, together with Fr. Herbert Federspiel and Fr. Matthias Rummel, celebrated the Holy Mass. In his homily Fr. Kücking recalled that the motto of the recent World Youth Day in Lisbon was: “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39). The Gospel of today’s feast day also began with these words. Fr. Kücking went on to quote from Pope Francis’ message for World Youth Day that Mary allowed herself to be motivated by the needs of her cousin Elizabeth and did not hold back, or remain indifferent. “She thought more of others than of herself. And this gave enthusiasm and direction to her life. Each of you can ask: ‘How do I react to the needs that I see all around me? Do I think immediately of some reason not to get involved? Or do I show interest and willingness to help?’” So too, the four jubilarians had made themselves available with their yes to serve others and they lived that yes faithfully.
During the distribution of Holy Communion, Sr. Astrid, accompanied by Mr. Trost on the organ, sang “He shall feed his flock” by George Frideric Handel. The music and lyrics made hearts resonate with the desire to meet Jesus as the Good Shepherd and to open oneself to meeting Him. In addition to the Pallottine Sisters and the Pallottine Fathers, many residents from House Felizitas took part in the Eucharist.
For the Sisters from House Camaldoli and House Felizitas in Limburg and from the community in Refrath, there were further joyful encounters with each other afterwards at lunch and afternoon coffee.
Photos: Sr. Maria Landsberger